Babies have a natural need to suck. When they are very young, this need is met by breastfeeding, drinking from a bottle, and sometimes a pacifier.
But by the time a baby is old enough to sit up on their own, they are ready to begin drinking from a cup.
There are a number of trainer or sippy cups available on the market. Initially you will need a small cup, with a small spout, and two handles.
As your child gets more accomplished, you can use a larger cup with no handles.
Some cups have silicone on the outside to make them easier to hold. Some are insulated. All cups should have a tight fitting lid. Most cups will have valves that prevent liquid from spilling when baby drops (or throws!) the cup.
Notice the word limit: there are very few sippy cups that will not leak under the right conditions. A cup in baby’s favorite color, or that has pictures of things baby likes can be a powerful enticement to use the cup.
You may have to try a few different brands until you find one baby likes. Avoid the cups with pop up straws until your baby is accomplished at drinking from a cup.
It is a good idea to introduce drinking from a cup no later than age 6 months. By this time a baby can usually sit up, and hold an object with both hands. When you first give the cup to your baby, leave it empty.
Let your baby get used to holding the cup and playing with the cup before you introduce any liquids. Of course, if your baby immediately puts the cup in his mouth and tries to drink, then count yourself lucky and add some liquid! Let your baby see you drink from a cup. Your baby will try to imitate you.
After a few days, it’s time to offer some liquid in the cup. Start with only about Â½ a cup of liquid, preferably breast milk, formula, juice, or water. Once your baby is drinking from the sippy cup, you can start adding more liquid.
Start by offering the sippy cup with meals, and the bottle after meals. Gradually switch over to using the bottle only at bedtime. Eventually, you will be able to eliminate the bottle all together, and eventually, you can begin transitioning from a sippy cup to a cup with no lid.